Romney’s Justice Advisory Team: Endorsement From Co-Chairs Bork and Glendon

On Tuesday, Mitt Romney announced the backing of a 63 member team of lawyers whose function will be to advise him on homeland security, law enforcement, regulatory issues, and constitutional and judicial matters. On that same day, the esteemed co-chairs of his new Justice Advisory Team, Judge Robert H. Bork & Professor Mary Ann Glendon, wrote a powerful article of endorsement for Governor Romney:


August 2, 2011

Today, we join over sixty leaders of the legal profession — private practitioners, corporate lawyers, former judges and executive branch employees, academicians — in expressing our fervent support for Mitt Romney in his run for the presidency.

Each of these individuals has his or her own reasons for supporting Mitt Romney. Our reason is this: America was founded on and owes its freedom and prosperity to rigorous devotion to the Constitution and the rule of law. President Obama lacks dedication to these principles. He has repeatedly attacked the rule of law and the institutions and virtues it protects. Mitt Romney, in contrast, is assiduous in his defense of the distinctive legal heritage that is the bedrock of our society.

Barack Obama’s presidency — marked by unprecedented claims of federal power and executive fiat — has accelerated an imprudent and dangerous drift from the rule of law. We see this drift in three main instances.

First, we are alarmed by President Obama’s abdication of his duty to zealously defend and administer the laws of the United States. In an absolutely unprecedented action, President Obama and his attorney general have refused to defend an important federal statute, the Defense of Marriage Act, in court. This lawlessness is particularly striking, given that the DOMA was passed by large majorities in both Houses of Congress before it was signed by President Clinton. What the administration’s decision seems to reflect is not only the President’s disregard for the rule of law, but his disdain for traditional family values and the people who hold them (people who, as he contemptuously put it, “cling to guns or religion”).

The Obama Administration has also refused to fully enforce federal immigration laws, going so far as to sue states that pass laws to perform the enforcement duties the federal government will not. And in Guantanamo detainee litigation, the administration has declined to make the most obvious legal arguments, apparently for political reasons.

Second, we see the drift in numerous examples of President Obama’s expansion of executive discretion and regulatory power. Most glaring is Obamacare, which constitutes an unprecedented federal usurpation of powers reserved to the states and to the people. Further, both Obamacare and the wide-ranging financial regulatory law have created multiple independent boards with broad mandates to act free from both the ballot box and meaningful oversight. Those same laws have given bureaucrats the discretionary power to grant waivers, the criteria for which are largely unknown. The Environmental Protection Agency has claimed vast powers to regulate carbon emissions despite clear congressional intent to the contrary and widespread popular opposition.

Bork and Glendon then write of Obama’s disdain for the rule of law in his standard for choosing judges.

They conclude:

We support Mitt Romney because he is committed to restoring a government of laws, and not of men.

(emphasis added

Do read the entire article here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Announces 63 Member Justice Advisory Team, Robert Bork Co-Chair

Conservative judge, legal scholar Robert Bork will co-chair Romney's 63 member Justice Advisory Committee. August 2, 2011

The news today from hard-working Mitt Romney and his campaign keeps rolling in and it’s…


Governor Romney has assembled a 63 member advisory team, including illustrious co-chair Robert Bork, to counsel him on a variety of issues. The formation of this stellar new team further underscores Romney’s deep commitment to the rule of law and constitutional governance:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday announced a team of 63 lawyers, co-chaired by conservative legal scholar Robert Bork, that will advise his campaign on constitutional and judicial matters, law enforcement and homeland security, and regulatory issues.

In addition to Bork, a conservative icon whose nomination by President Ronald Reagan to the Supreme Court failed in the Senate, Romney’s Justice Advisory Committee will be chaired by Harvard Law School professor Mary Ann Glendon, who served as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican in President George W. Bush’s administration, and Richard Wiley, a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is a graduate of Harvard Law School. The choice of chairs and committee members seems designed to solidify his credentials within the conservative legal establishment.

Mitt Romney deeply understands that the rule of law and the integrity of our courts are essential components of our nation’s strength and must be preserved,” the three chairmen said in a joint statement. “He will nominate judges who faithfully adhere to the Constitution’s text, structure, and history and he will carry out the duties of President as a zealous defender of the Constitution. We fully support Mitt Romney’s campaign and look forward to working with other members of the committee as we advise him on today’s pressing legal issues.”

The committee, which will also provide legal counsel to Romney’s campaign, also includes other prominent figures, including former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, former chancellor to the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware William Allen and former Texas Supreme Court chief justice Thomas Phillips.

Romney’s statement:

Our democracy depends on a government that respects the Constitution and the rule of law,” Romney said in a statement. “Our nation needs a Congress and an Executive branch that are cognizant of the bounds of their powers and a judiciary that will strictly construe the Constitution and refuse to legislate from the bench. I am proud and honored to have the support of an extraordinary group of attorneys and legal scholars.”

(emphasis added)

For the names of those on Romney’s new Justice Advisory Committee, continue reading here.

Wow. This announcement, along with the announcement today that Romney’s campaign is shifting into higher gear, further demonstrates the planning, organization, and wisdom Team Romney is known for.

► Jayde Wyatt

~UPDATE from RightSpeak

This news even has a bit of an Iowa spin to it, according to the Iowa Independent:

“The formation of the committee could play well among some voters in Iowa, specifically from social and religious Conservatives who feel the Iowa Supreme Court has overstepped its Constitutional boundaries in the last few years, particularly in the 2009 ruling of Varnum v. Brien, which legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa.”

Mitt Romney, in announcing this committee, with members such as these, should go along way to assuage the fears of his critics, who think he’ll appoint “activist” judges, who legislate from the bench.